I spent most of yesterday sorting out my albums and putting them into chronological order. I don’t actually scrapbook chronologically, but I like my layouts to be sorted chronologically (in date order).
To be more precise the day started with me wanting to put away the huge pile of layouts that were waiting to go into my albums. I started out by putting them into piles by year, and then discovered that my albums had gotten a bit out of sorts since the last time I did a re-arrange in 2008 – which is obviously too long ago and wasn’t this involved or thorough. What had been happening was when I put a big pile of pages away every six months or so I just put them into any vacant spaces, a big no-no even for those of us who are totally time poor. Each time I needed to put together an album for show-n-tell somewhere I just pulled out the pages I wanted (creating gaps to be filled in the above bad habit), and obviously just put them away willy-nilly when I eventually brought them back home.
So to cut a long story short I removed every page from every album and sorted them all into year piles, which were then sorted chronologically and placed back into the now empty albums. I also created a couple of extra piles along the way – the needs some repairs or adhesive pile, the needs a page ptotector to be cut pile, and the when on earth was that pile. We are slowly working through the when on earth was that pile as some pages have the photo file numbers on the back and some are easy to place by approximate ages, haircuts, glasses, etc. The when on earth was that pile this morning was still nearly a foot high, but we are getting there, and it has been a whole family project which is an added bonus.
I learnt quite a few lessons along the way and wanted to share them with you, and hopefully your pages to repair pile won’t end-up like mine:
- Six months is too long between putting pages away when you teach a new Scrapbooking class every week and do a lot of extra layouts in between
- Saving on tape only leads to one thing, things fall off your layouts – I only went through a short phase of about six months doing this so the damage was minimal
- Chipboard letters (and Thickers too) don’t have the right adhesive for longevity – you will need to use a good glue like Tombow Mono-Multi to adhere them as clear glues reacts with the original glue and doesn’t stick after a while
- Regular album maintenance and checking of layout condition is better than leaving it all for ten years and then trying to do it all in a day
- If you take a layout from a certain place, be sure to put it back as soon as you can
- If a layout involves an interactive item that requires the page protector to be cut, do it when you create the layout – not years down the track when you finally get a chance and end up with a huge pile of those too
- Tape runner isn’t strong enough to hold large chipboard letters at the top of a page – use a good quality glue as above
- If you only use a tiny piece of tape to hold the ribbon wrapped to the back of a page, then it most likely won’t hold for long (one layout where I did is only two months old, what was I thinking)
- If you always use lots of wide tape and don’t be a miser with your adhesives you will have better and longer lasting results
- Paper (the thin stuff) doesn’t make a good base for layouts – it’s just too flimsy and photos, etc are heavy in comparison
- Woven/Cut-apart backgrounds need to be backed with a piece of cardstock
- Check the dates if your not 100% sure – otherwise you have layouts that are dated incorrectly in your albums (ie one child was christened on 10/12/2000 and another was christened on 12/10/2006, so I have some pages dated 10/12/2006 for the second child – they are placed in the right order, but I know the journaling is wrong)
- Write the date you created the layout on the back so that you can timeline your style for interests sake
- Write the date of the photographs on every single page, no matter what – because my children seem to wear the same outfits and hairstyles to photo shoots a lot, even when they are a year apart
- I can’t say enough to use good quality adhesives and to use plenty of them – as I have no damage in my albums from the adhesives I use, just things dropping off when I was a bit miserly or relied on the adhesive that came on chipboard lettering
- Try to journal all layouts, even if it is just a who/what/where – if there is a series of layouts to go together it is OK to just journal one or two, but make sure you indicate the date on them at least (front or back doesn’t matter as long as it is there)
- If a layout is about someone who isn’t in the family albums all the time be sure to name them so that people will know who they are in the future
- I need more albums, as two of them have three years each in them – and 2008 needs a second album
- I need to do more layouts of particular times when I don’t have much content in my albums – especially the 18 months from 2010 to 2011 when I printed only a handful of photographs
- Standing my albums up has done a good job of protecting pages from pages – especially during some of my lumpy bumpy phases
- I need to find a good way to label my albums that will last a couple of lifetimes, look good and be able to be repeated as I acquire more albums in the future
After a decade of Scrapbooking I can say that I am very pleased with the overall condition of my albums and pages, and we all had fun looking at where we have been and how my style has changed. I can honestly say that I have been through quite a few style changes that are quite varied in their results, but am proud of every one of the layouts I have created along the way.